Focus On



Wednesday, April 08, 2020 @ 11:39 AM

Lawyers must remain essential service as long as reasonably possible | Arthur Zeilikman

It would be a serious undertaking to tally all of the clichés and negative stereotypes that exist about lawyers and their seeming dispensability within society. Shakespeare’s oft-quoted line from Henry VI — "The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers” — usually comes to mind as the most infamous and callous of such satirical jabs. Whatever the true intent behind the incitement, one thing is clear: the question of a lawyer’s utility always makes for a lively conversation.     ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 07, 2020 @ 1:12 PM

Exposed: What COVID-19 has taught us | Gary Joseph

The COVID-19 virus is a risk to all but specifically it targets and exposes the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. In the same way the pandemic has exposed our court system for what it is, an “elderly” system developed to service a 1970s population drowning in a media/web savvy 21st century. Our judicial and court leaders are struggling to make it work in an environment where failure is inevitable. The structure of our courts and the supports built around it are paper intensive and people intensive. They cannot adept quickly to the fast-changing environment. This is not a criticism of our judicial leaders but a sad refrain for those who long ignored the need to upgrade technology and facilities. ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 07, 2020 @ 11:55 AM

Legal industry facing sea change | Joan Rataic-Lang

When I started working as the librarian at Aird & Berlis in 1988 there were days I didn’t even turn on the computer to do a QL search.  Administrative assistants were still using typewriters and I kept track of invoices in a paper ledger. Fast forward to today: I’m sitting at home during a pandemic, running an association and a library from a laptop. Things have changed, and they have stayed the same.  ... [read more]

Monday, April 06, 2020 @ 1:51 PM

Ethical obligations for lawyers with COVID-19 | Kyla Lee

As a lawyer who is currently a presumptive positive for COVID-19, I have had to think about my ethical obligations to my clients. This includes planning in the event my condition worsens, ensuring my files are orderly and managed and maintaining adherence to quarantine obligations to protect my clients and staff from catching the virus. ... [read more]

Monday, April 06, 2020 @ 8:40 AM

New times, new thinking: What to say to COVID defiers | John MacMillan

As I shut the door, my wife asked me where I had gone. She and I had just returned from our daily self-isolated exercise walk, on a day that would picture in the dictionary under “spring perfection”; she knew that I had fulfilled my daily exercise, so why had I gone back outside? I said I’d spied a group of young guys shooting hoops at our nearby park’s basketball court and had headed out to chide them about social distancing. “I said ‘Boys, the courts are closed … didn’t you see the police tape on the rims?’ And they said they’d ripped it down. It got in the way of their shots. So I said, ‘how you gonna’ feel when you give your grandmother COVID-19? Get home now! This is serious!” ... [read more]

Thursday, April 02, 2020 @ 12:58 PM

Constructive dismissal and COVID-19 | Stuart Rudner

For decades, we have had an underlying tension in the world of employment law. Specifically, although employment standards legislation sets out the parameters for how a business can impose temporary layoffs, it does not give businesses the right to do so. The legislation explains how long a layoff can last, and other parameters such as when it will be deemed to be a termination of employment, but the right to impose a temporary layoff must come from contract. ... [read more]

Thursday, April 02, 2020 @ 11:13 AM

Ontario emergency measures endanger marginalized, racialized groups | Naomi Sayers

On March 31, the Ontario government issued an order via the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA). The Act was developed by Emergency Management Ontario’s predecessor, Emergency Measures Ontario after a comparison study was completed which examined emergency programs in Ontario, similar jurisdictions in Canada and the United States. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 01, 2020 @ 8:34 AM

Pandemic observations from self-isolation | Malcolm Mercer

Late on Friday March 13, Toronto Public Health advised that everyone who had travelled outside of Canada go into self-isolation for 14 days after their return. My wife and I self-isolated having returned from United States six days earlier. As I write, it is now more than two weeks into a new world. Much has changed. ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 @ 12:35 PM

COVID-19 silver linings for justice system | Sam Goldstein

I like to look for the silver linings in life. For example, bats will never be on PETA’s endangered species list and no more discussion about climate change for awhile. Those are just two silver linings in this health crisis. I also think there is a silver lining in how the administration of justice has responded to COVID-19 and that response means that the administration of justice is going to better off once this is over. ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 @ 8:43 AM

Access to Justice: Justice in the time of social distancing | Beverley McLachlin

The COVID-19 virus has changed our world. It is unprecedented, impacting every aspect of our daily lives, keeping us apart from each other and shutting down most of our conventional ways of interacting in society, save for essential services. ... [read more]